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Edna Lewis Caramel Cake

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  • Author: SouthernShelle
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 1 9-inch cake 1x



A classic southern dessert table standout featuring tender layers of vanilla cake enveloped in the most perfect homemade caramel icing.



5 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 medium eggs, room temperature

2 cups sifted flour

2/3 cup milk, room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 teaspoon lemon juice

4 teaspoons baking powder


1 cup heavy cream

2 1/4 cups light brown sugar

2 tablespoons butter

2 teaspoons vanilla extract


For the Cake

  1. Heat the oven 375ºF. Line 2 9-inch cake pans with parchment paper  and spray with cooking spray. Set aside. 

  2. In the bowl of the stand mixer or a large bowl with a hand mixer, stir the butter on low speed for about 1 minute until the butter is shiny.  Then add in the sugars and salt, mixing for 3-4 minutes until the mixture is light. 

  3. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing until  combined. 

  4. Turn the mixer down to low speed and alternate ½ cup of sifted flour and ¼ cup of milk, ending with flour.  Before you add the last ½ cup of flour, pour in the vanilla extract and lemon juice.   Then add the baking powder to that last ½ cup of flour before pouring it into the bowl. 

  5. Stir the batter until smooth and no flour remains. 

  6. Bake for 25 minutes without opening the oven. 

  7. Turn the cake out of the pan immediately and put it on a wire rack.  Cool for 5 minutes and then cover with a clean towel. 

For the Caramel Icing

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream until hot, but not boiling.  Add in the sugar and stir it well.  Boil the cream and sugar mixture gently over medium high heat until you reach the soft boil stage .   Remove the pot from heat and set it in a large bowl of cold water. 

  2. Add the butter and vanilla and stir continuously  until the mixture becomes thick enough to spread. Remove the bowl from the cold water. 

Put the Cake Together

  1. Place one layer of the cake on a cake board or platter. 

  2. Spread a third of the caramel onto the cake layer.  Place the second layer on top of the first layer.  Pour the remainder of the icing onto the center of the cake and then spread it across the top and down the sides. 

  3. If the icing becomes too thick, while you are frosting, add a couple tablespoons of cream to thin it out. 

  4. Store in an airtight cake pan at room temperature. 


  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Category: Cake